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If you want to drive traffic to your website, the quickest way to do it is with Google Adwords. However, there is something that every Singapore entrepreneur should keep in mind when executing this particular method. If your SEM marketing is not done correctly it can be quite costly. In fact, in the worst case scenario, you may spend a lot of your budget but see little to no return on investment. So let’s take a moment to discuss a few common mistakes that business owners make with their Adwords campaign.
Failing to Group Adwords Correctly
One of the most convenient things about Google Adwords is that it gives you the ability to separate your campaigns. This means that you can run a product and content campaign simultaneously. And a big part of running an individual campaign is grouping your Adwords. Unfortunately, there are business owners who choose not to do this. They instead combine their keywords into one group and then show the same ad.
Here’s the problem: the keywords may not match the ad that is being shown. This means that people are less likely to click on it because it’s not the word they searched for. Let’s say that you offer clothing apparel–shirts, shoes, hats, and socks. If you don’t break down which of these products are featured in your ads and base the keywords on what people are searching for, your ad will be more general. So customise your ad. Be specific.
Wrong Keyword Matches
Google Adwords gives you the ability to add keywords to your campaign in one of three ways. You may choose to add your keywords using broad match. This means that Google will show your ads no matter in what order the keywords are searched for. For example, if your keyword is ‘baking supplies’, the ad will show up for people who search ‘where can I buy baking supplies.’ If you enter your keywords without any punctuation, then as long as the words appear in the search, your ad will be shown.
You may choose to add your keywords using a phrase match. This means that Google will show your ads when the complete phrase, in the order that you have entered it, is searched for. For example, if your phrase is ‘best baking supplies,’ the ad will only show up for people who search ‘best baking supplies.’ If you add quotation marks around your phrase, then searchers will only see the ad if they’ve typed this phrase exactly.
Lastly, you may choose to add your keywords using exact match. This means that Google will show your ads when the search matches the exact keyword. If your exact match is ‘best baking supplies,’ then it will only show up when someone searches ‘best baking supplies.’ That means they will not see your ad if they search ‘best baking supplies for beginners.’ If you add brackets to your keyword, then it will result in exact matches.
Why It Matters:
It’s important that you choose your match wisely because each type of match can deliver different types of results. And each has its own benefits. Broad match offers imprecise results but can help when your products or services don’t fit into a specific category. However, exact matches have a more precise result and can lead to higher conversion rates. It’s a good idea to start with exact match and then make changes from there if needed.
Avoiding Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are extremely important because they help you to eliminate the keywords that are not good matches for your product or service. If you sell men’s shoes but don’t sell running shoes, then you should include running in your negative keywords search. This can be done on the campaign and group level. Try using ‘Query Match Type’ on Google Analytics to identify which words should be excluded.
Relying On Your Creativity Instead of the Numbers
A lot of business owners make the mistake of getting too attached to their ad copy. The problem is, this makes them turn a blind eye to what the numbers have to say about it. And they end up putting out an ad that is not effective.
So it’s important to do a lot of testing. Try different variations of your headlines and see which people respond to best. In some cases, even a small tweak can make a world of difference. Instead of relying on your creativity, rely on the response of the viewers and click-through rates. Even once you have found a winner and released the ad, you should never stop testing.
Never Bidding on Your Brand
Believe it or not, it’s a good idea to bid on your own brand name. Why is this? Well, when people search for you, you need to make sure that you appear at the top. You may assume that you already have the top ranking since this is your brand name. However, it’s very likely that your competitors will bid on your name so that they can target your customers in their ad. And ironically, this search result may appear above yours. So spare no expense when bidding your brand.
Never Estimating the Customers’ Lifetime Value
Another common mistake that tends to cost Singapore business owners a lot of money is not estimating the lifetime value, or LTV, of their customers. You should never spend more to gain a customer than you will actually earn from the customer. By calculating the value of your customers, you will know how much of your ad budget you need to spend on each.
Wrong Ad Position
If you ask any reputable SEM agency about getting your ad to the top of the search engine, there is a good chance they will first ask you what your goal is beyond that. And that’s because you may not benefit from having your ad positioned at the top of the search engine. Sure, if you just want visibility and to increase your brand awareness, then it’s great. However, if you’re actually trying to convert customers, then it’s better to be in spots 3-5.
Here’s why: people tend to click the first ad without even thinking. Spots 3-5 are positioned in areas of the screen that people only view when they are not able to find what have been looking for. So when choosing a position think about your intent. You should also test each spot with a low bid in order to make sure you have the right one.
Oblivious to The Competition
In the world of pay per click, you should always pay attention to what your competition is doing. More specifically, you need to know how your ad measures up to theirs. So take a look at their landing page. Who’s ad would you be more likely to click, yours or theirs? If you would choose theirs then figure out what makes theirs more appealing. Perhaps it’s a better design or they exhibit social proof. Learn from their copy and make improvements to yours.
Expecting Too Much
And Adwords campaign can be rather costly. So if you are a startup who is operating on a small budget, then it may be a good idea to rely on organic promotion until you can increase your budget. Your starting Adwords budget should be large enough to allow you to do a lot of testing. It’s very unlikely that you will get things right on your first try, so save your money until you’re able to get a high return on investment. Only spending a couple of hundred or less a month will only frustrate you.
Wrong Product Pages
Perhaps the biggest mistake a Singapore business owner could make is directing their ad traffic to the homepage. Whenever someone clicks on your ad, they need to be taken to the page that shows them that exact product or service. They should never have to spend time looking for the product that they clicked your ad for. This has a negative impact on your conversion rates.
The key to running a successful Google Adwords campaign is taking the time to optimise it. These are the most common mistakes Singapore business owners tend to make. By avoiding these, you could easily gain an edge on the competition.
7 Best Practices for Google Ads
Digital marketing has seen a revolution and marketers have come up with ingenious best practices for Google Ads. The platform has enabled marketers to optimise SEM management.
Since it was launched in 200, then rebranded from Google AdWords to Google Ads in 2018, the platform has been responsible for over 3.5 billion daily interactions. With an estimated 700% ROI for Google Ads users, you need to spend your marketing budget in the right place.
Why Google Ads
The ads created using Google Ads are displayed on several channels including YouTube, Google, Blogger, and millions of other websites in the Google Display Network. Google Ads have an approximate click-through rate of 8%, and the display ads yield at least 180 million impressions per month.
Google Ads has worked for millions of websites, but thousands if not millions of websites do not use the platform properly. In this article, we look at the best practices for Google ads that will increase traffic to your site.
Test Multiple ETAs in Every Ad Group
Expanded text ads (ETA) have higher CTRs than standard text ads. However, many of the advertisers who focus on getting ETAs into every ad group but they only test a single ETA for every ad group. For a better ROI, it is advisable that you use multiple tested ETAs.
Unfortunately, a majority of the advertisers hope to find the perfect ETA for their digital marketing campaigns. While ads testing is not an easy task, however, the smallest amount of testing will go a long way.
As a best practice for Google Ads, you should be testing at least three ETAs in every ad group. It will not only help you find the best ads for your campaigns, but it also improves performance while using optimal ad rotation settings on Google Ads.
Optimise Your Ad Rotations
While creating your ETAs, you must use ads that resonate with a wide group of searchers. This is especially important if you are using multiple CTAs in your ad copy. They will perform differently for different searchers, and this is why you need to optimise your ad rotations.
This practice allows you to show your best offer to searchers. Google uses a variety of signals such as user demographics, search query, time of day, device, and past search behaviour. This way, you will display the ads that have a higher chance of earning clicks and conversions.
However, ad rotation does not affect which ad is shown to searchers, but it affects which one enters the ad auction. Optimising your ad rotation and doing ad testing, you will also reveal the ads that are performing poorly.
Use a Variety of Ad Extensions
Several years ago, advertisers would use a variety of ad extensions, but it has become one of the best practices for Google Ads that is falling by the wayside. With that said, Google Ads have added a variety of ad extensions which include structured snippets, callout extensions, affiliate location extensions, message extensions, price extensions, promotion extensions, and more.
There are tens of ad extensions and it is easy to skip a few extensions. However, statistics show that ad headlines have a higher click rate than the ad extensions. With that said ads with extensions increases their visibility comparted to ads that only have an ad header.
For example, location ads only drive at least 1% of the paid clicks from search engines; however, such ads have twice the CTR as those without. The numbers are similar for other types of extensions. For this reason, you need to keep track of new Google ad extensions to give you an edge over your competition.
Create Ad Extensions across the Entire Account
While many advertisers have created common ad extensions, 1 out of 7 accounts do not use them in their campaigns. For this reason, they pass up on the quality score benefits attached to the use of ad extensions.
One of the ways of catching and correcting this mistake is by doing an extensive audit of your account. However, most people forget to reapply each of the extensions to their new campaigns. In order to, save you on the repeated manual task every time you create a new campaign, you should create generic extensions that apply to your business.
Since you also need specific campaigns, as well as relevant extensions that complement your ads it is necessary that you apply the ad extensions to the campaigns and ad groups according to your needs.
Set Up Your Time Zone and Currency Correctly
Google Ads allows you to change your time zone once, but once you set the currency, you cannot change it. This is necessary since the statistics you get from Google Ads reports are affected by the selected time zone.
It is necessary that you get it right from the start; otherwise, you will not see the required results. Wirth that said, the rebranding and upgrading of Google AdWords to Google Ads in 2018, allowed its users to change the time zone and currency settings.
Connect Your Google Ads Account with Google Analytics
The main reason for this practice is to enable you analyse customer activity on your website after clicking on your ads. More so, you also get to create custom audiences in Google Analytics and applying them via Google Ads.
This is one of the best practices for Google Ads that come in handy during remarketing and retargeting campaigns.
Define a Target Location
This includes defining the country, region, or city for your targeting campaigns. If you fail to do this, you could be paying for ads that are showing in countries that are not interested in your products or services.
If you are a web designer or digital marketer looking to attract local ads in Singapore, your Google Ads should be specific to Singapore, not in Brazil, or Alaska or any other country. Defining your target location allows you to concentrate your time, money, and efforts into making custom campaigns for Singaporeans.
12 Costly Google Ads Mistakes People Make
What do some marketers do to stay on top of Google Ad features?
Well, they try to be as perfect as possible by avoiding the following 12 Google Ads mistakes:
Mistake 1: Not Including Relevant Keywords in their Ad Copy
A common mistake people make is not including relevant keywords in their ad copies.
First, Google doesn’t just rank ads, they first have to calculate ad rank to determine ads placement. While ad rank is calculated using a long list of key auction-time quality components, one of the biggest determiners of your ad rank position is ad search relevance.
One way Google can tell whether or not your ad is relevant to what a user is searching for is if it contains relevant keywords. In other words, you can drastically improve your ad rank by including relevant keywords in your ad copy.
This would in turn improve your ad quality, which translates to lower CPC and higher conversion rate.
One Caveat to Note: Always make sure you’ve included at least one of your main keywords in your ad header or copy. However, be careful not to overdo it. Google doesn’t like it when people overstuff keywords.
Mistake 2: Not Tracking Regional Trends
Ad managers tend to commonly overlook location-based modifiers when running their ads.
This is understandable when relying on automated bidding. But with manual bidding, the difference can be huge.
Many ad accounts are usually set to run nationwide. For example, you’ll see accounts that are set to target Singapore, but with nothing granular.
It’s not so often do we get to see accounts target individual regions based on performance. The furthest managers go is to use bid modifiers to fix this. But that doesn’t usually address the other major issues: budget allocation, device modifiers, ad copies, and so on.
Large cities often require huge budgets, which is completely okay as long as they’re favoured by metrics.
But that’s not usually the case.
Occasionally, there’ll be differences in device usage in the different geographical regions. For example, in a city where people are always on the road, mobile devices should have better conversion rates.
Mistake 3: Not Adding Negative keywords
Negative keywords refer to the keywords that you use in your campaign to prevent your ad from being displayed to a particular group of users. The main point of including negative keywords or phrases in your campaign is to increase the chances of targeting the right group of users and not just anyone random.
That should see to it that your ad is able to garner more relevant clicks.
Always be on the lookout for keywords or keyword phrases that do not clearly define your products or services. For example, if you run a woman fashion store that only sells heels, then you wouldn’t want your ad to show when a user searches for women sneakers or athletic shoes.
Mistake 4: Not Establishing Your Ad Budget and Setting Goals
Another grave mistake you can make as a Google Ad manager is rushing to set the ads without deliberating on your goals first.
You need an appropriate ad budget, as determined by the goals you’ve set. Otherwise, you’ll be risking overspending on these ads, especially if this is your first time running them.
The goals you set will determine your initial ad spend. And once the campaign is up and running, you can always adjust your ad budget to tackle the challenges that arise and capitalize on new opportunities.
Here’s what we advise you to do: before you run an ad campaign, take your time to define its goals and establish an appropriate ad budget for it.
Mistake 5: Not Bidding on Your Own Brand
Your brand should be among the keywords you place your bid on. While at it, you want to make sure you’re paying close attention to your brand value.
According to this study, as conducted by Loyalty 360, it was found that 66% of customers are more likely to spend more on a product if it’s from a brand that delivers positive customer experiences.
One way to deliver positive customer experiences is through PPC ads and SEO. Learn to use every new tool and opportunity at your disposal to protect your brand.
That being said, here are some of the reasons it’s advisable to bid on your brand search terms:
- The Advantage of Having Two Links: It’s easy to organically rank for your brand name. Your competitors won’t even bother targeting you with SEO because they know better. But nothing is stopping them from bidding on your brand name. And since paid searches appear on top of organic searches, then that means they can invade your personal space and still appear above you.
So, why not do yourself a favour and rank for both paid and organic searches. That way, you’ll have two links or search engines results working together to drive even more traffic to your site.
- Dominate Your Territory Before One of Your Competitors Invades It: The thing is your competitors will always spy on you. They want a piece of your customer base. And there’s nothing to stop them from bidding on your brand name.
If it hasn’t happened yet, then you can bet it will happen with time. But you can stop them from giving in to this temptation by securing your space before they even contemplate it.
- It’s about Branding: It’s quite normal for established brands to dominate both organic and paid search spots.
It’s one way to prove your authority when someone searches for your brand. You must be the first thing they see on both paid and organic search spots, unless otherwise.
- Strategic Promotion: Paid search directs traffic to specific pages on your website. You can channel the traffic to specific areas of your website, not necessarily your homepage.
It’s an excellent strategy to draw attention to your product offerings, special offers, or promotions.
- Brand Name Keywords Are Affordable: Brand keywords tend to be a lot cheaper than their generic counterparts.
They have a lower CPC which makes them quite affordable and effective.
- They Indicate Intent: Nobody searches for a brand unless they’re ready to go through with a purchase decision. Most of the time, the customer would have already made up their mind, and all that remains is for them to confirm with the brand and place an order.
Advertisers who don’t bid on their brand names usually have a solid reason for doing so. Here are some of these reasons:
- Their brand keyword isn’t getting much traffic
- Their brand keyword has a low search volume
- Their brand is already ranking in the first position, and on so many other pages in the SERPs. They, therefore, don’t see any reason to bid for it.
All these reasons make sense. They, however, hinder you from running a successful campaign and growing your brand.
It’s not about getting clicks, impression, and visitors – it’s about the revenue you generate.
Mistake 6: Not Calculating Your Customer Lifetime Value
Do you calculate your Customers’ Lifetime Value (CLV)? If not, then you’re wasting a lot of your resources and money.
How much are you willing to spend on Google Ads just to acquire one customer? You can eliminate the guesswork by calculating your CLV.
CLV can be defined as the amount of revenue that a customer is likely to generate during their lifetime as they continue to interact with your brand.
It determines the long-term value of your customers.
CLV is much more complicated than ROI. But the two are dependent on each other in growing your business and increasing your revenue.
By knowing your CLV, you can adjust your marketing budget and learn to bid on strategic keywords that drive the right customers and prospects to your website or landing page.
Mistake 7: Not Tracking Ad Position
Google has a simple formula for calculating Ad Rank.
Ad Rank = CPC Bid * Ad Quality
That means you can still place the highest bid and still rank below an advertiser with a lower bid but with a higher quality score.
In which case, your ad quality score is largely dependent on targeted keywords, quality of your keywords, and most importantly, click rate. The more you score in these three, the higher your ad placement.
Now, a common misconception that advertisers have is that the first position is the best one. But like you’re soon to find out, that’s not always the case.
While it’s true that a higher rank tends to attract a higher number of clicks, that still doesn’t always guarantee more conversions.
Ranking at position #1: You don’t have to rank at position #1 to generate quality clicks. If your primary area of concern is branding, then it makes a lot of sense to want to rank at the top. But if you’re more interested in results (quality traffic, clicks, and conversions), then you should be aiming for position 3 to 5.
Assuming you’re selling women clothes, and your biggest competitor is an established fashion brand with a huge advertising budget.
You just don’t have the financial muscle to outbid them. So, instead of increasing your bid amount, why not work on improving your quality score?
This may not get you to position #1, but it can get you a favourable ad position, with an even better performance.
The pro-tip: Try experimenting with different ad rank position by either increasing or decreasing your bid amount. Observe what happens and take notes.
Mistake 8: Not Utilizing the Experiment Feature
Unfortunately, this is not an easy feature to figure out. In fact, most account managers don’t even know that it exists.
It’s a simple feature that allows you to run controlled tests. You can use it to experiment with different kinds of elements, like landing pages and the bidding mechanism.
You can use it to test different landing pages. All you have to do is duplicate your ad campaign and change the URLs.
You can even create a non-running version, where you’ll be changing some part of the campaign, and experiment with them for a specified length of time.
Google also introduced ad variation not long ago. Instead of manually uploading multiple ads like we’ve been doing, this feature allows you to split-test an ad copy within minutes.
Mistake 9: Not Developing a Bidding Strategy
There’s a reason companies still prefer manual bidding.
And it’s mostly because these companies have more complex metrics that they use to determine the relative worth of the clicks they get. Most of these metrics have yet to be seen by Google or integrated into the system.
That makes their campaigns prone to human errors, and the only way to minimize them is to develop a solid bidding strategy.
For example, keywords with a $1000 CPC shouldn’t have the same bid as those with a CPC of $100 or less.
Mistake 10: Disapproved or Missing Account Extensions
So many ad accounts have a missing or disapproved ad extension.
It’s not uncommon to see ads with disapproved phone numbers and review extensions or without structured snippet extensions.
Besides enhancing your digital real estate, these extensions can help you pre-qualify clicks.
They also give the user more information that encourages them to click.
Mistake 11: Few Landing Pages
You might be doing everything right. You’ve regrouped your keywords right, written the best ads to improve your click-through rate, optimized your bids, and even cleaned up your search term report by adding negative keywords.
But all that doesn’t matter if you haven’t paid any attention to your landing pages.
It’s even worse when you’re directing all your traffic to your website’s home page. The thing is, you need enough landing pages to answer all the questions users are asking online.
Here’s what you should do:
You can start by grouping your keywords, after which you’re to create a landing page for each set of keywords.
Doing this will not only help to improve your quality score but also lead to a better conversion rate.
Mistake 12: Not Including a Targeted Call to Action
Never assume searchers would automatically know what to do. You need a clear and well-targeted CTA to direct them on what to do.
When a user runs a search query, most of the time, they’ll be looking for a solution to a problem they have. As an advertiser, it would be better to think of your ad as a solution to their problem.
Get to understand their pain points, desires, and needs, and make sure your ad speaks directly to this need, encouraging them to take action.
Your PPC ad needs to achieve the following two things:
- Convince potential customers that your products or services are the solutions to their problem
- Tell them what cause of action they should undertake to find the solution
Learn to use appropriate Call to Action Verbiage, such as Shop Now, Sign Up Today, Purchase this Product, and so forth.
There you have it: a list of 10 common mistakes companies makes when running Google Ads. Obviously, there are more. But these are the common culprits, and some of the reason many marketers are losing their time, money, and potential business.
Google Ads is one of the best tools for you to optimise your SEM; unfortunately, most businesses get it wrong. We hope that the above best practices for Google Ads will set you up to improving the reach of your ads and improve the quality of your traffic.
Contact us today for the best search engine marketing services in Singapore.